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Judge Prevents Drilling Company from Removing Contaminated WV Soil

A federal judge has blocked Chesapeake Energy from removing contaminated soil from a waste pit in Wetzel County.

The Charleston Gazette reports that U.S. District Judge Frederick P. Stamp issued a temporary restraining order against the company this week.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by a Wetzel County couple who claim Chesapeake unlawfully disposed of drilling wastes in the pit. The pit is located on Larry and Jana Rine's property at Silver Hill, east of New Martinsville. They're seeking a more comprehensive cleanup plan.

According to court records, preliminary tests found diesel fuel, benzene and other contaminants in the soil.

Chesapeake spokeswoman Jacque Bland says the company believes its activities are within its lease and property rights.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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